Two Nigerians Arrested For Wire Fraud In U.S.
Two Nigerians have been arrested in the United States for wire fraud and other offences involving $25,000 in unemployment benefits.
PREMIUM TIMES report that Olushola Afolabi and Olugbeminiyi Aderibigbe were accused of conspiring with others to defraud the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the United States government through fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.
They and their alleged co-conspirators reportedly used stolen identities to file unemployment insurance claims and transferred millions of dollars in unemployment benefits into bank accounts controlled by them, the U.S. government said in the indictment filed against them.
“Using the funds in those bank accounts, members of the conspiracy purchased money orders or withdrew cash at locations across the Northern District of Alabama and elsewhere,” their indictment already approved by a grand jury and filed at a U.S. District Court in Northern Alabama, reads in part.
PREMIUM TIMES further reports that the alleged fraud was perpetrated from October 2020 to June 29, 2021 when the indictment was filed.
Of the millions of dollars allegedly transferred by the conspirators, about $25,000 was directly linked to Messrs Afolabi and Aderibigbe.
The transfers of about $18,000 between December 7, 2020, and February 24, 2021, were reportedly linked to Mr Afolabi, and the balance of about $7,000 was allegedly transferred by Mr Aderibigbe between December 29, 2020, and January 8, 2021.
The U.S. government said the two defendants entered into a conspiracy with many unknown others with the objective “to steal unemployment insurance benefits”.
“As part of the conspiracy, unknown members of the conspiracy would and did file for state and federal unemployment insurance benefits through the Illinois Department of Employment Security website using stolen or otherwise fraudulent identities,” the document said.
Unknown members of the conspiracy would and did establish several Green Dot bank accounts into which the fraudulently obtained state and federal unemployment benefits would be wired on a periodic basis.
The conspirators including, Messrs Afolabi and Aderibigbe, were then said to have travelled to Alabama and elsewhere for the purpose of using Green Dot access device cards to purchase money orders or withdraw cash at Walmart and other retail locations in the Northern District of Alabama and elsewhere.
The grand jury said, in the indictment, that if the defendants are found guilty of the said offences, they stand to forfeit to the United States any personal property used or intended to be used to commit the offences, according to the United States Code, Section 1029 (a) (2).